Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina: 1,600 Guardsmen
Iraq: 140,000 Troops

Well, the GOP has been waiting for the "Far Left" to politicize the disaster down south. Here I am, eager to oblige them.

1600 Miss. Guardsmen have been deployed to the disaster area. 1600 men. Katrina has turned hudreds of square miles of the United States into Bangledesh. Nowhere to live, no water to drink, no electricity or sanitation. Widespread looting. Death and disease. The worst disaster in the history of the United States.

And we send 1600 men. 1600. Enough to secure a single neighborhood. To put the scope of this disaster in perspective, Bush has cut his vacation short by 2 days, something a fucking war couldn't get him to do.

Meanwhile, there are 140,000 troops in Iraq, along with tons of hardware. Hardware like amphibious vehicles, communication systems, medical care facilities, housing, power, food and shelter for 140,000 people.

Am I missing something here?


Anonymous caspixel said...

Did you see this:

Did New Orleans Catastrophe Have to Happen? 'Times-Picayune' Had Repeatedly Raised Federal Spending Issues

New Orleans had long known it was highly vulnerable to flooding and a direct hit from a hurricane. In fact, the federal government has been working with state and local officials in the region since the late 1960s on major hurricane and flood relief efforts. When flooding from a massive rainstorm in May 1995 killed six people, Congress authorized the Southeast Louisiana Urban Flood Control Project, or SELA.

Over the next 10 years, the Army Corps of Engineers, tasked with carrying out SELA, spent $430 million on shoring up levees and building pumping stations, with $50 million in local aid. But at least $250 million in crucial projects remained, even as hurricane activity in the Atlantic Basin increased dramatically and the levees surrounding New Orleans continued to subside.

Yet after 2003, the flow of federal dollars toward SELA dropped to a trickle. The Corps never tried to hide the fact that the spending pressures of the war in Iraq, as well as homeland security -- coming at the same time as federal tax cuts -- was the reason for the strain. At least nine articles in the Times-Picayune from 2004 and 2005 specifically cite the cost of Iraq as a reason for the lack of hurricane- and flood-control dollars.

In early 2004, as the cost of the conflict in Iraq soared, President Bush proposed spending less than 20 percent of what the Corps said was needed for Lake Pontchartrain, according to a Feb. 16, 2004, article, in New Orleans CityBusiness.

On June 8, 2004, Walter Maestri, emergency management chief for Jefferson Parish, Louisiana; told the Times-Picayune: “It appears that the money has been moved in the president’s budget to handle homeland security and the war in Iraq, and I suppose that’s the price we pay. Nobody locally is happy that the levees can’t be finished, and we are doing everything we can to make the case that this is a security issue for us.”

Also that June, with the 2004 hurricane season starting, the Corps' project manager Al Naomi went before a local agency, the East Jefferson Levee Authority, and essentially begged for $2 million for urgent work that Washington was now unable to pay for. From the June 18, 2004 Times-Picayune:

"The system is in great shape, but the levees are sinking. Everything is sinking, and if we don’t get the money fast enough to raise them, then we can’t stay ahead of the settlement," he said. "The problem that we have isn’t that the levee is low, but that the federal funds have dried up so that we can’t raise them."

8:51 PM  
Anonymous caspixel said...

Jesus Fucking Christ:

Strain of Iraq War Means the Relief Burden Will Have to Be Shared

With thousands of their citizen-soldiers away fighting in Iraq, states hit hard by Hurricane Katrina scrambled to muster forces for rescue and security missions yesterday -- calling up Army bands and water-purification teams, among other units, and requesting help from distant states and the active-duty military.

As the devastation threatened to overwhelm state resources, federal authorities called on the Pentagon to mobilize active-duty aircraft, ships and troops and set up an unprecedented task force to coordinate a wider military response, said officials from the Northern Command, which oversees homeland defense.

National Guard officials in the states acknowledged that the scale of the destruction is stretching the limits of available manpower while placing another extraordinary demand on their troops -- most of whom have already served tours in Iraq or Afghanistan or in homeland defense missions since 2001.

And the Pentagon is sending eight Navy ships which will take anywhere from 1 to 4 days to reach the Gulf. Too little, too late.

And the lies just keep on coming as the Pentagon assures the American public that there is plenty of aid available, per some muckety muck on CNN this morning.

Try telling that to the people STILL stranded on their rooftops in 100 degree heat and humidity as the city continues to flood, hundreds are missing, and parts of Mississippi are destroyed.

I'm so sick of all the lies.

6:22 AM  
Anonymous caspixel said...

And then this:

New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers faces massive reduction in funding

In fiscal year 2006, the New Orleans district of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is bracing for a record $71.2 million reduction in federal funding.

It would be the largest single-year funding loss ever for the New Orleans district, Corps officials said.

I've been here over 30 years and I've never seen this level of reduction, said Al Naomi, project manager for the New Orleans district. I think part of the problem is it's not so much the reduction, it's the drastic reduction in one fiscal year. It's the immediacy of the reduction that I think is the hardest thing to adapt to.

There is an economic ripple effect, too. The cuts mean major hurricane and flood protection projects will not be awarded to local engineering firms. Also, a study to determine ways to protect the region from a Category 5 hurricane has been shelved for now.

Congress is setting the Corps budget.

The House of Representatives wants to cut the New Orleans district budget 21 percent to $272.4 million in 2006, down from $343.5 million in 2005. The House figure is about $20 million lower than the president's suggested $290.7 million budget.

It's now up to the Senate. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-New Orleans, is making no promises.

It's going to be very tough, Landrieu said. The House was not able to add back this money ... but hopefully we can rally in the Senate and get some of this money back.

Landrieu said the Bush administration is not making Corps of Engineers funding a priority.

I think it's extremely shortsighted, Landrieu said. When the Corps of Engineers' budget is cut, Louisiana bleeds. These projects are literally life-and-death projects to the people of south Louisiana and they are (of) vital economic interest to the entire nation.

6:27 AM  
Blogger evil eggplant said...

Yeah, C, I know. Fucking things up is all these guys know how to do.

Iraq casualties in the Gulf Coast.

What's next? Halliburton getting multibillion dollar reconstruction contracts in the Gulf Coast?

So fucking sad.

8:34 AM  
Blogger evil eggplant said...

BTW, thanks for sharing this. I think you read more than me..

Stop and think about this. We're spending 1.2 Billion a week in Iraq.

The money that NO needed to fix the pumps and levees is spent in Iraq in less than than three days.

You're so right. "Everything is under control?" What a bunch of bullshit. Everything we got is in Iraq. All the money, all the people, all the hardware. All of it.

I'm sick too.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous caspixel said...

Jesus Fucking Christ:

A prominent religious right leader is blaming Katrina's destruction on gays and the decadence of New Orleans:

"Southern Decadence" has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars" Repent America director Michael Marcavage said in a statement Wednesday.

"Although the loss of lives is deeply saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city." Marcavage said. "From ‘Girls Gone Wild’ to ‘Southern Decadence’, New Orleans was a city that had its doors wide open to the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same."

"Let us pray for those ravaged by this disaster. However, we must not forget that the citizens of New Orleans tolerated and welcomed the wickedness in their city for so long," Marcavage said.

Hmmm, well, no mention of Biloxi MS, which was also destroyed. Are they wicked sinner?

I'm thinking, if there is a god, he's saying to the red staters, "Stop doing all your crazy shit in MY name. Will a Category 5 hurricane get your attention?"

3:56 PM  

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